Location: Emmitsburg, MD
Last Year’s Record: 19-14
Why they’ll make it: The Mountaineers came within one basket of making a repeat appearance in the Big Dance last season and the core of the team returns. Not many teams on their level can lay claim to one of the best backcourts in all of college basketball, but in Jean Cajou and Jeremy Goode, the Mountaineers can. Those two played major roles on the NCAA tournament team two years ago so they know how to win. Throw in Kelly Biedler and Shawn Atupem as double-digit scorers and you have the prototypical successful mid-major. The talent doesn’t end there though. The Mountaineers also have Croatian Kristijian Krajina coming in to bolster the frontcourt. This will be on of the best squads in the history of Mountaineer program.
Why they won’t make it: Senior guards, Corey Hassan and Chauncey Hardy, are back for Sacred Heart and they’ll be ready to challenge for the NEC title. After finishing in a second-place tie with Mount St. Mary’s last season, Sacred Heart knows it can compete with the best the NEC has to offer. Joey Henley is gone, but there is still enough talent there for the Pioneers to give the Mountaineers a run for their money. Don’t expect the NEC to be a Mountaineer runaway.